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Chef Elena’s Panama Gastronomica. Elena Hernández, the creator and president of Panama Gastronomica, the fair that celebrates high cuisine, has one goal in mind, to transform the country into a world-class gastronomic destination. That was the reason she created this event which is now in its seventh edition. She has taught cuisine and gastronomy in different schools and universities in Panama and Venezuela, where she lived for several years.
She is half Cuban, a born New Yorker, and proud Panamanian, raised and living in Panama. This modest woman and brilliant chef has been advisor for different projects launched by important food companies such as Nestlé, Melo, the Rey supermarket chain and several restaurants in the country and for the reality show “Quiero ser Chef” (I want to be a Chef), produced by Televisora Nacional in 2007 and 2008.
A cordon bleu-trained chef, she has promoted Panamanian cuisine in Baltimore, Seattle, Chicago and Monterrey in the United States. The daily newspaper La Prensa named her as one of the five most important Panamanian chefs in the last 25 years for her contributions to culinary education and “Blank” magazine described her as the “Pioneer of Culinary Education in Panama.”
For Hernandez everything is about food as a perfect cultural expression of a country and a way to bring countries together . Without a doubt, Panama Gastronomica is one of her best creations.